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Philosophy and Its Moods: Oakeshott on the Practice of Philosophy

In “Philosophy and Its Moods: Oakeshott on the Practice of Philosophy,” Kenneth McIntyre continues the discussion of Oakeshott’s conception of philosophy begun by Boucher but takes a somewhat different view. Though he admits that Oakeshott’s conception of philosophy as a fundamentally skeptical activity devoted to relentless interrogation of the conditions of human understanding remains unchanged…

The Victim of Thought: The Idealist Inheritance

In “The Victim of Thought: The Idealist Inheritance,” David Boucher examines the relationship of this theory of knowledge or experience to philosophical—and especially British—idealism. He makes two fundamental points about this relationship. First, he argues that although idealism was on the wane in Britain the 1920s and 1930s, Oakeshott’s brand of idealism was hardly as…

The Pursuit of Intimacy, or Rationalism in Love

What about his private, intimate life? This brings us to the first essay in this volume, Robert Grant’s “The Pursuit of Intimacy, or Rationalism in Love.” As the title suggests, this essay is concerned with Oakeshott’s love life, which he considered to be not merely peripheral but in many ways the main business of his…

Oakeshott: born on this day

For those who’ve never read that most subtle, cultivated, humane and refined of minds Michael Oakeshott’s concerns resonate as deeply as ever. For the novice, I’d recommend his mid-career Rationalism in Politics, a most elegant collection of essays. A more difficult, but for me the vital underpinning cutting across all his work, is his equally elegant and…

Michael Joseph Oakeshott

Born on this day, that most subtle, civilized, cultivated, elegant, insightful, humane and liberal quality of mind. For all things Oakeshottian check out the Michael Oakeshott Association, the unaffiliated Michael Oakeshott Society, loads of stuff on this site including a very rare BBC recording of Oakeshott on the philosophy of history, and last, but no means least, A Companion to…